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Ipswich Town 4-2 Preston North End - Match Report
Saturday, 7th Oct 2023 17:10

Town go into the international break second in the Championship following a 4-2 victory over third-placed Preston North End, who they now lead by eight points. Conor Chaplin gave the Blues the lead in the 18th minute, before Mads Frøkjær levelled for the visitors nine minutes later, before Brandon Williams made it 2-1 with a brilliant solo goal and Nathan Broadhead netted a third in injury time. Town made a slow start to the second half and Lilywhites’ sub Ben Whiteman pulled a goal back on 52 but Kayden Jackson sealed Town’s ninth win of the season 12 minutes from time as all five subs combined.

Town boss Kieran McKenna made two changes from the team which dismantled Hull City 3-0 on Tuesday with Cameron Burgess and Broadhead returning to the XI.

Burgess was back at the centre of the defence for George Edmundson - who was left out of the 20-man squad - with Broadhead returning to the left of the three behind central striker George Hirst, having recovered from his thigh problem in place of Marcus Harness, who was on the bench.

Preston made four changes from the team which lost 3-0 at Leicester on Wednesday with Alan Browne, Frøkjær, Ryan Ledson and ex-Blues striker Will Keane returning to the side.

Ben Whiteman, Duane Holmes and Liam Millar dropped to the bench, while Ali McCann was absent from the squad having started on Wednesday. Former Town keeper Dai Cornell is on the bench.

Town started the game in the same impressive slick form they showed throughout Tuesday’s victory over the Tigers.

On seven, a Hull clearance hit Wes Burns in a dangerous area on the right of the box. Preston appealed that it caught the Welshman’s hand and eventually referee David Webb opted to take no chances and give the visitors the decision, much to Town’s frustration.

A minute later, Ryan Ledson fouled Williams out wide on the right and picked up the game’s first yellow card with the Sir Bobby Robson Stand calling for a more significant sanction and Lilywhites players claiming the on-loan Manchester United man had dived.

Soon after, Chaplin was fouled with Preston seemingly wanting to break up Town’s early game flow while sitting deep to try and frustrate.

Town were dominating but without having created a chance, aside from a Burns effort from distance which was blocked. Balls in from the flanks had unerringly found Preston players.

However, in the 18th minute, the Blues took the lead. Davis played a corner low towards Chaplin just to the left of the penalty spot and the forward smashed home his fifth goal of the season to send Portman Road wild.

It was a terrific finish to a corner routine Town have tried on a number of occasions over the last couple of seasons, Lee Evans having scored in similar fashion against Bolton on the opening day of last season.

The Blues were an inch or two away from a second in the 21st minute when Broadhead spotted Preston keeper Freddie Woodman off his line and from not far in front of the dugouts sought to lift the ball over the glovesman, however, the ball floated narrowly wide.

A minute later, Williams burst away down the right at pace and beat Preston defender Liam Lindsay to the ball, the former Barnsley man sending the Town right-back flying. Lindsay was booked before Davis overhit his free-kick beyond Broadhead at the far post.

Preston, who had been forced to swap the injured Jack Whatmough for Patrick Bauer on 26, had seen little of the ball in the Town half but in the 27th minute they levelled.

A long ball played forward left Burgess in two minds and Mads Frøkjær flicked on to Milutin Osmanjic. The ball struck Davis, then fell back to Frökjaer-Jensen, who shot across Vaclav Hladky and into the net.

It was a scruffy goal with perhaps a hint of offside about it, but from a Town perspective it was a very poor one to concede.

Town set about getting ahead once again and should have netted their second in the 29th minute when Broadhead played in Hirst just inside the area. The striker twisted and feinted and worked himself space for a clear shot at goal but scuffed his effort through to Woodman when he will feel he should have scored.

On 31, Alan Browne joined his two teammates in referee Webb’s book for a foul on Broadhead just outside the area, the Wales international hitting his free-kick well over.

The Blues claimed a penalty in the 34th minute when Massimo Luongo ended up on the turf as he looked to battle through a number of Preston players on the left of the box but it would have been a harsh one to have been awarded and most of the appeals came from the crowd.

But the Town support only had to wait another minute for their side’s second of the afternoon and what a goal it was.

Williams picked up the ball on halfway as Burns received an off-the-ball elbow from Robbie Brady and the on-loan Manchester United man brought it forward at pace before hitting a low shot across Woodman and into the net off the inside of the post.

Portman Road has seen some great goals this season and Williams’s second for the club was another to add to the collection.

Ahead of the restart, Burns spoke to referee Webb regarding the elbow incident and the official had words with Brady but evidently couldn’t have seen it as no card of either colour was issued. Had it been spotted that Preston would have had to play out the rest of the game with 10 men.

There was another moment of Town defensive scruffiness in the 38th minute, the Blues failing to clear and allowing Osmanjic a shot from just inside the area to the right which fortunately he scraped well wide of goal.

In the final scheduled minute, Broadhead curled a shot from just outside the area to the left which a deflection took behind.

And following the resultant corner, taken seconds after the announcement of five additional minutes, the Blues scored their third of the afternoon.

Davis’s deep cross from the right was headed back across goal by Burgess, Hirst deftly nodded down at the near post and Broadhead tapped home his fifth goal of the season from a couple of inches.

Town were completely dominant in the closing minutes with Burns hitting a low shot which Woodman saved, before a Chaplin effort was stopped and then moments before the end Burns curled an effort from just outside the area on the left which the Preston keeper batted away.

The half-time whistle, which was greeted by applause and cheers by the Town support, will have come as a relief to Preston, who had been completely overwhelmed in the final minutes. Had it been a boxing match, the referee would have stopped it at that point.

Town had been every bit as good as they were against Hull on Tuesday against a side which had clearly come to frustrate and spoil. That approach kept the Blues at bay for 18 minutes but Chaplin’s brilliant finish from a well-worked set piece should set Town on their way.

However, the Blues allowed the visitors a poor goal, which might have given Preston a foothold in the game, but as in previous similar situations this season Town kept playing their football and restored their lead via Williams’s brilliant solo goal and then Broadhead’s close-range tap-in.

Preston made a triple change ahead of the restart with Whiteman, Holmes and Miller taking over from Browne, Brady and Osmajic.

Town hadn’t got started after the break before the visitors pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute.

The Blues once again failed to clear their lines and allowed sub Whiteman a shot, which took a deflection, hit the inside of the post and beat Hladky, who as on the first goal could do little about it.

Town went about looking to restore their two-goal cushion, Luongo cutting back from the byline but not far enough and Woodman was able to claim.

There was another scare for the Blues in the 55th minute when another sub, Miller, was found in space on the right of the box and Burgess slid in to make an important block, the ball squirming through to Hladky, who claimed.

Town, who hadn’t hit the heights of the first half since the break, made a triple change in the minute, Omari Hutchinson, Kayden Jackson and Harness taking over from Chaplin, Burns and Broadhead.

Preston made another change in the 70th minute, Ben Woodburn taking over from Frøkjær.

The Town subs were yet to make an impact with the Blues continuing to look a jaded pale imitation of the side which had been so bright in the week’s previous three halves.

On 72, Hirst lifted a shot over when in acres of space in the penalty box and will have been relieved to see the linesman’s flag raised.

Town made another change in the 76th minute with Freddie Ladapo and Jack Taylor taking over from Hirst and Luongo.

And two minutes later, the Blues got their lead back to two goals with all five subs playing their part.

Ladapo, with his first contribution, held the ball up on halfway and laid it off to Harness, who fed Taylor down the left. The former Peterborough man played it to the overlapping Hutchinson, who took it on and picked out Jackson, who was bursting into the box at the far post and from where he confidently beat Woodman to claim his second goal of the season.

The cheers were a mix of celebration and relief, the goal having come at a time when Preston were starting to up the pressure having seen most of the ball since the break, albeit without creating a serious since their second goal.

Town’s fourth goal of the afternoon swung the game’s impetus back their way and on 81 Davis exchanged passes with Hutchinson on the left of the box but his touch let him down as he received the return pass.

The Blues weren’t too far away from their fifth in the 85th minute, a Preston toe just taking a low right-wing cross away from Harness as the forward was about to turn in his second goal this week.

Following the resultant corner, Taylor forced Woodman to palm away his volley from the edge of the box for another flag-kick.

In the penultimate minute, Woodman curled a shot from the left which arced the wrong way and very wide, then, with the game in four minutes of injury time, Keane, who had had a quiet afternoon against his old club, was let down by his touch as he chased a ball which had been played behind the defence with only Hladky to beat.

But Town had looked the more likely scorers of the game’s seventh goal and Ladapo went very near close to the end, turning Harness’s low ball from the right against Woodman after sharp work from the former Portsmouth man.

That was the last chance of the game and referee Webb’s whistle was the signal for more applause from the Town support, delighted that their side will go into the season’s second international break with another win and in second in the table - two points behind leaders Leicester - and remarkably eight points ahead of the Lilywhites in third.

Town were at their best in the first half but started the second half slowly and seemed to lose their way having conceded the Lilywhites’ second with the Blues scrappy at the back on more than a few occasions.

However, the Blues remained more resolute during Preston’s spell on top and the subs once again made their mark, all five playing a part in Jackson’s goal which removed any doubts about where the points would be going.

Town now have almost two weeks off for internationals before the Friday night visit to Rotherham for a live Sky game, plenty of time for fans to admire a Championship league table following a first 11 matches which have gone better than anyone could have hoped.

Town: Hladky, Williams, Woolfenden, Burgess, Davis, Morsy (c), Luongo (Taylor 76), Burns (Jackson 65), Chaplin (Hutchinson 65), Broadhead (Harness 65), Hirst (Ladapo 76). Unused: Walton, Clarke, Ball, Scarlett.

Preston: Woodman, Whatmough (Bauer 26), Lindsay, Cunningham, Potts, Ledson, Browne (Whiteman 46), Brady (Holmes 46), Frokjaer (Woodburn 70), Keane, Osmajic (Miller 46). Unused: Cornell, Stewart, Best, Mawene. Referee: David Webb (County Durham). Att: 29,018 (PNE: 826).

Photo: Matchday Images

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Broadbent23 added 17:13 - Oct 7
Win tick, eight points clear tick, Eleven points clear of Norwich tick. Very good day. Good weather good team. Well done Town.

Miaow added 17:15 - Oct 7
Thank God we won that.

I think Preston were fortunate to go in at half-time only 3-1 down. Both of their goals today were poor ones to concede and we could have scored more in that first half.

For around 25 minutes after the break we were looking second-best, so Jackson’s goal was a huge relief. But I think anything other than a win for us would have been wrong seeing as we played so well at times - if we’d kept on in the second half as we’d ended the first, we would have been out of sight.

I don’t think Luongo had his best game today, but it was great to see him get his Australia call-up. Williams was my MotM - what a run and finish.

Eight points clear of 3rd after a quarter of the season and 11 points clear of Norwich. Absolutely fantastic. And just the 29,018 inside the ground today, although that is pretty much the norm now.

This season is superb.

carlgibbs13 added 17:15 - Oct 7
Just wow!!! As we are approaching the quarter point of the season, I am so happy.
20 points clear of the relegation zone. 11 points clear of the last playofff place.
8 points clear for an automatic spot.
We sit second. We have beaten the team currently 3rd. We have beaten the team currently 4th.
Although I still believe Leicester will be run away winners, I know we can compete for promotion.
What a great time to be an Ipswich fan!!!!

RedDust added 17:18 - Oct 7
I can’t get too attached to Brandon Williams, That goal was unreal! I love the throwback low socks and the tackle at the end where he took the guy out and was smiling at him after he done it. Bravo

therein61 added 17:20 - Oct 7
Another good day at the office we were not at the heights of Tuesday nights performance but comfortably gained another 3 points well done you boys good to see Jackson get one that will pee off his critics.

thechangingman added 17:22 - Oct 7
We're really rather AWESOME now, eh?

*takes a deep breath*

Think I am quietly starting to believe it might be two promotions in two years...

Saxonblue74 added 17:28 - Oct 7
8 points of breathing space already, just incredible.

MK1 added 17:29 - Oct 7
Don't think any of us were expecting this start. Quite amazing. Brilliantly coached and managed. Players are playing with massive smiles on their faces. Absolutely loving it.

fistpumpfury added 17:30 - Oct 7
Got to keep perspective. At the moment we’re nearly a quarter of the way through the season. We’re playing good football and managing to score plenty. We’ve had no major injury scares and the Town is buzzing. However there’s a long way to go, and winter is coming (said Jon Snow)…. Our defence certainly needs more tweaking as some of the goals we’re conceding are poor.
It’s a great time to be a Towen fan after years of crap. Let’s remember it’s not over until it’s over but, we can hope and trust in the players and KMac. Uppa Towen

Suffolkboy added 17:35 - Oct 7
Seem to have presented some of the best ,alongside some of the indifferent in this match . It’s a human weakness : you can’t sustain mind ,spirit and physical resilience on a permanent basis ! Today some of the ‘bounce ‘ and intense focus fell away ,but once again KM’s reading of the situation proved smack on and the well prepared substitutes brought invention and determination to the pitch , showing how irresistible are ITFC !
Perfection cannot be replicated readily ,but we have a unity and commitment which is a delight to observe and an attractive draw for us — and every true football fan !
Well done ITFC .

chrismadrid added 17:36 - Oct 7
True that about the defence but some players are Premiership players and he's got others playing so much better,like Jackson who rounded off a lovely team goal...c'mon you Blues!

blueboy1981 added 17:40 - Oct 7
Another Good 3 points - but we must tighten up at the back and not be so Benevolent
We give Goals away far too easily, but thankfully at the moment we’re at least scoring more than the opposition.
I’m sure McK won’t be totally euphoric, and know there’s improvement to come, and needed.
We have the ability to dominate teams - let’s make sure we do it !
We’ll then find Winning, that much easier !
Well Done All - this was a good Tester !

EssexTractor added 17:41 - Oct 7
What a day - again- and in the fanzine and beyond the youngsters in their team colours, their parents laughing smiling. Because Ipswich Town are the entertainers .
Great substitution , Taylor ! Hutchinson Jackson , number 4
Williams superb

Saxonblue74 added 17:43 - Oct 7
Not sure I agree about our defence. I think it's strong, but with the style we play will always be put under pressure. No coincidence we've conceded in numbers at home but very few away, our attacking style can leave us open but winning games is about scoring more than the opposition.

TractorBeezer added 17:46 - Oct 7
Fantastic 3 points not all our way and KMac very hone frank about that. I fee privileged to be a tractor boy from Canada


Lukeybluey added 17:49 - Oct 7
C'mon the boys! Great weekend. Results elsewhere went our way, we got our win, now got a decent buffer from 3rd! Scrappy win but a win is a win, take it all day long! The beer will taste good this evening! Cheers everyone!

Gforce added 17:50 - Oct 7
Another really good performance today.Williams,Chaplin and Morsy all superb and the rest more than played their part.
Bring on Rotherham, Iive on Sky,let's show the country what we're all about and increase that gap to double figures.

Bluearmy_81 added 17:56 - Oct 7
This has to be the best start to season in how long?! Any stato’s out there? When was the last time we were W9, D1, L1 after first 11 games of a season?!

BobbyPetta11 added 17:56 - Oct 7
Harness deserved another star.

Broadhurst comes in & gets his goal.

What a squad we really have .. something special is happening.

If we’re still here Xmas day after a tough November December we will be in the premiership next season

SpiritOfJohn added 18:07 - Oct 7
Not quite Fortress Portman Road, but fantastic entertainment again today. We should have been out of sight at half-time, but you can't fault any of the players effort and commitment to the cause. It's a joy and a privilege to watch the Super Blues. All four goals were so good and so different. Only one bad performance on view - the ref was awful, but he couldn't spoil the afternoon.

wischip added 18:15 - Oct 7
This season is bonkers.

Esseeja added 18:18 - Oct 7
Not surprised we are 2nd anymore, our form this year is not really surprising when we are playing this well and constantly improving every game.
I've missed Ipswich in the championship, I love this league, even if promotion happens, I honestly think it will now, I'm just happy we get to see us play in this league again.

Kirbmeister added 18:35 - Oct 7
Blueboy stop complaining after every game. We’d have taken 16-17 points from the first 11 games all day long so to have 28 is amazing. We’re not going to win every game and not concede a goal. We were in league 1 last year for gods sake. Enjoy the season for god’s sake.

dirtydingusmagee added 18:51 - Oct 7
Amazing manager,amazing squad,amazing times. I hoped ,but did feel it a tall order to get 6 points from thes past two games, but the theyve pulled it off. We will of course lose games at some point, but dont see any teams to fear. When it comes it will likely be a Banana skin , when we least expect it . Another annoying inters break now, but we are going strong. And some said we hadnt a strong enough squad for Championship . lol. COYB

SWBlue22 added 18:55 - Oct 7
Bobbypetta11. Broadhead and Hurst merged into one super player ?

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